Songs from the Autograph Songbook

by William Lawes (1602 - 1645)

Word count: 1824

1. Now in the sad declension of thy time [sung text checked 1 time]

Now in the sad declension of thy time,
When all the world forsakes and lays thee by,
I but unveil my love, masked in the prime
Of thy transcendent glories. For mine eye,
Judge thee not woman but a deity;
And till those roses blushing on thy cheek,
Those lilies and those violets were seen
To wither thus, till all those sweets we seek
In ruin lay, I could ne'er begin
To court thee without hazard of a sin.
Freed from all rival doubts and jealous fears,
By time's rude hand, those relics I adore;
My flames increase, although thy beauty wears;
And in this temp'rate season love thee more,
Than in that scorching heat that went before.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Virgins as I advise forbear [sung text checked 1 time]

Virgins as I advise forbear,
  to follow this bright star;
You might shine in another sphere,
  but here eclipsed are.
For her, your whole sex I adore,
  and pity more
Those precious hours you spend
  thus to no end.
For who so e'er you meet or see,
  will all her captives be.

But if upon this queen of love
  as homage you wait
If as her guards you were her move
  to all unto her state.
Who she by th'uncontrolled power
  of her chaste flame
Creates a prince, that hour
  may you the same,
And like to hers, may thus your will
  have power to save or kill.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Dost see how unregarded now [sung text checked 1 time]

Dost see how unregarded now
  that piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
  to that alone;
  but to mark the fate of faces.
That red and white works now no more on me,
Than if it could not charm, or I not see.

And yet the face continues good,
  and I have yet desires,
Am still the self same flesh and blood,
  as apt to melt
  and suffer from those fires.
Oh, some kind power unriddle where it lies,
Whether her face be guilty or my eyes?

She every day her man does kill,
  and I as often die.
Neither her power then, nor my will
  can questioned be,
  what is they mystery?
Sure beauty's empires, like to greater states
Have certain periods set, and hidden fates.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. If you a wrinkle on the sea have been [sung text not yet checked]

If you a wrinkle on the sea have been,
Ambitious, rise till it a wave hath been,
And marked that wave ascending high,
Dash down again, and in an instant die,
Give in to death, beginning to a new
Till wrapt within themselves we loose their view,
So in love's growth, a spark begets a flame,
And that, burnt out, returns to ash again.
These the degrees and ends of lovers' bliss,
From small to great, then nothing is.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. Ask me no more where Jove bestows [sung text not yet checked]

Ask me no more where [Jove]1 bestows,
When June is past, the fading rose;
For in your beauty's orient deep
These flowers, as in their causes, sleep. 

Ask me no more whither do stray
The golden atoms of the day;
For in pure love heaven did prepare
Those powders to enrich your hair.  

Ask me no more whither doth haste
The nightingale, when [May]2 is past;
For in your sweet dividing throat
She winters, and keeps warm her note.  

Ask me no more where those stars 'light,
That downwards fall [in]3 dead of night;
For in your eyes they sit, and there
Fixèd become as in their sphere.  

Ask me no more if east or west
The Phœnix builds her spicy nest;
For unto you at last she flies,
And in your fragrant bosom dies.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Headlam-Morley: "Love"
2 Headlam-Morley: "June"
3 Headlam-Morley: "at"

Researcher for this text: Jacques L'oiseleur des Longchamps

6. Oh, think not Phoebe [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

7. Up ladies up [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

8. Faith, be no longer coy [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

9. Cupid's weary of the court [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

10. It is her voice [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

11. Where did you borrow that last sigh [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

12. Why should great beauty [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

13. Pleasures, beauty, youth attend ye [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

14. Whiles I this standing lake [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

15. To whom shall I complain [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

16. Had you but heard he sing [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

17. Farewell fair saint [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

18. Love's a child [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

19. Early in the morn [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

20. Thou that excellest [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

21. Perfect and endless circles are [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

22. Can beauty's spring [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

23. Tell me no more [sung text checked 1 time]

Tell me no more her eyes are like 
Two rising suns that wonder strike,
For it 'twere so, how could it be, 
They should be thus eclipsed by me?

Tell me no more her breasts do grow,
Like rising hills of melting snow,
For if 'twere so, how could they lie
So near the sunshine of her eye?

Tell me no more the restless spheres,
Compared to her voice, frights our ears,
For if 'twere so, how then could death
Dwell with such discord in her breath?

No, say her eyes portenders are
Of ruin, or some blazing star,
Else I should feel from that fair fire
Some heat to cherish my desire.

Say that her breasts, though cold as snow,
Are hard as marble when I woo,
Else they would soften and relent
With sighs enflamed from me sent.

Say that although like to the moon,
She's heavenly fair, yet changed as soon,
Else she would constant once remain
Either to pity or disdain.

That so by one of them I might
Be kept alive or murdered quite,
For 'tis less cruel thus to kill
Where life does but increase the ill.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

24. God of winds [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

25. I would the god of love would die [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

26. Ah, cruel love [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

27. He that will not love [sung text checked 1 time]

He that will not love must be
My scholar and learn this of me:
There be in love as many fears
As the summer corn have ears;
Sighs and sobs, and troubles more
Than the sand upon the shore;
Now an ague, then a fever
Both tormenting lovers ever.
Woulds't thou know besides all these
How hard a woman 'tis to please?
How high she's prized, whose worth's but small?
Little thou'lt love, or nought at all.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

28. I burn, I burn. To the Dews [sung text not yet checked]

I burn, I burn ; and beg of you
To quench or cool me with your dew.
I fry in fire, and so consume,
Although the bile be all perfume.
Alas ! the heat and death's the same,
Whether by choice or common flame
To be in oil of roses drowned,
Or water ; where's the comfort found ?
Both bring one death ; and I die here
Unless you cool me with a tear :
Alas ! I call ; but ah ! I see
Ye cool, and comfort all but me. 

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

29. White though ye be. On the Lilies [sung text not yet checked]

White though ye be; yet, Lillies, know,
From the first ye were not so:
  But Ile tell ye
  What befell ye;
Cupid and his Mother lay
In a Cloud; while both did play,
He with his pretty finger prest
The rubie niplet of her breast;
Out of which, the creame of light,
  Like to a Dew,
  Fell downe on you,
  And made ye white.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

30. Gather ye rosebuds [sung text checked 1 time]

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And [this]1 same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

[The]2 glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,
The higher he's a-getting
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
[But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times, still succeed the former. ]3

Then be not coy, but use your time;
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Alfredo García) , "A las vírgenes, para que aprovechen el tiempo", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Lawes: "that"
2 Dring: "That"
3 Lawes: "Expect not the last and worst, / Time still succeeds the former."

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

31. I'm sick of love [sung text checked 1 time]

Subtitle: To the Sycamore

I'm sick of love: O let me lie
Under your shades to sleep or die!
Either is welcome, so here I have
Or here my bed, or here my grave.
Why do ye sigh, and sob, and keep
Time with the tears that I do weep?
Can ye have sense, or do ye prove
What crucifixions are in love?
I know ye do, and that's the why
Ye weep, being sick of love as I.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

32. Lovers, rejoice [sung text not yet checked]

Lovers rejoice, your paines shall be rewarded
 . . . . . . . . . .

— The rest of this text is not
currently in the database but will be
added as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

33. That flame is born of earthly fire [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

34. Dearest, all fair [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

35. Be not proud, pretty one [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

36. Love, I obey [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

37. Oh, draw your curtains and appear [sung text not yet checked]

O, draw your curtains and appear
  Ere long, like sparks that upward fly,
We can but vainly say you were,
  So soon you'll vanish from the eye.

And in what star we both shall find --
  For sure we can't divided be --
Is not to lovers' art assign'd,
  'Twill puzzle wise astrology.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

38. O Love, are all those arrows gone [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

39. Ye fiends and furies [sung text not yet checked]

Ye fiends and furies
 . . . . . . . . . .

— The rest of this text is not
currently in the database but will be
added as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

40. Hence flatt'ring hopes [sung text checked 1 time]

Hence flatt'ring hopes, cease longing and give o'er.
  It is decreed
That he whom you shall see no more,
Must to beguile your wishes bleed.
Oh, may his faults for ever silent pass,
  Since 'tis his doom,
Than which a heavier never was,
To find his marriage bed his tomb.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

41. Stay, Phoebus, stay [sung text checked 1 time]

Stay, Phoebus, stay.
The world to which you fly so fast,
Conveying day
From us to them, can pay your haste
With no such object, nor salute your rise
With no such wonder as De Mornay's eyes.

Well does this prove
The error of those antique books,
Which made you move
About the world; her charming looks
Would fix your beams and make it ever day,
Did not the rolling earth snatch her away.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

42. Cloris, I wish that Envy were as just [sung text checked 1 time]

Cloris, I wish that Envy were 
As just as pity doth appear
Unto your state, that so I might
Rob others to give you delight,
But your too free though lovely charm
In others' glory brings you harm,
For while you willingly admit
So many rivals to your wit,
Unthriftily you throw away
The pleasure of your beauteous sway,
Which loosely scattered so on many,
Securely fastens not on any,
And so your beauty to discover,
Brings many gazers but no lover,
And your too greedy hands destroy
What you would yourself enjoy.
 So princes by ambition thrifty grown,
 In chase of many kingdoms lose their own.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

43. Doris, see the am'rous flame [sung text checked 1 time]

Doris, see the am'rous flame,
How it courts thy noble name,
Beck'ning sometimes with desire
To th'embraces of the fire,
And then gently fans again
The clear story of your pen,
As, not able to withstand
The strict beauty of your hand,
But ambitious to adore,
Rose to kiss and durst no more.
Let not then the senseless flame
My devoter service shame.
Yield as much to my desire
As thou gav'st unto the fire.
Oh, let me view it though it turn
Me to those ashes you would burn.
So shall your hand with my heart have
A willing and a friendly grave.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

44. Those lovers only happy are [sung text checked 1 time]

Those lovers only happy are
  That still despair.
The restless souls that hope and fear
In tempests live. Each smile or frown
Like surges toss them up and down,
  And if they e'er
Attain the port, they shipwreck there
And sink their love though they escape,
  For beauty shape,
And all those sweets which they before
Did with so much delight adore,
If tasted, they esteem no more
  And once enjoyed
They are no sooner pleased than cloyed.

But he that dares his heart prefers
  To worship her
Whose eyes divine fire doth not burn
But all love into wonder turn.
Blest in his objects glories are,
  And their despair
Secures that bliss from all impair.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

45. Amarillis tear thy hair [sung text checked 1 time]

Amarillis tear thy hair, 
Beat thy breast, sigh, weep, despair.
Cry, cry "Ay me, is Daphnis dead?" 
I see a paleness on his brow 
And his cheeks are drowned in snow.
Whither are those roses fled? 

"O my heart, how cold he's grown;
Sure his lips are turned to stone.
Thus then I offer up my blood, 
And bathe my body in his shroud.
Since living accents cannot move,
Know Amarillis died for love."

Authorship

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

46. Why so pale and wan, fond lover? [sung text checked 1 time]

Why so pale and wan, fond lover?
  Prithee, why so pale?
Will, when looking well can't move her,
  Looking ill prevail?
  Prithee, why so pale?

Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
  Prithee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can't win her,
  Saying nothing do't?
  Prithee, why so mute?

Quit, quit for shame, this will not move,
  This cannot take her;
If of herself she will not love,
  Nothing can make her;
  [The devil take her!]1

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Britten: "Let who will take her!"

Research team for this text: Ted Perry , Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]